Pick Your Parts Carefully

I had a client tell me a story the other day. As I was working on the bottom of his foot, he said: "You'll find a lot of scar tissue in there. When I was a kid I was swimming in a quarry and I split that thing wide open. My friend ran out to the road, about a mile and a half away, and flagged down a truck. The truck driver hiked in to the quarry, carried me out and drove me to the hospital. Now that story lives right there in that foot."

This man is entering his 70th year, so I'm guessing it was 55-60 years ago that this occurred. True enough, he was carrying some scar tissue in there. Where there should have been soft and yielding flesh there were areas of rigidity. He was also carrying this beautiful imagery of a stranger helping a kid in trouble. He talked about that, and not about the pain, the blood, the fear, the hospital experience or his recovery. The part he kept there in his foot was the kindness of that man who stopped what he needed to do that day to help him.

We all carry stories along with our scars. Sometimes it's hard to find the grace in there. Often we can choose which stories we cling to, and that can radically effect how we move through the world.

It's also worth noting that every day we have opportunities to play our own parts in other people's stories. How we play those parts will be carried with them too, so it is well worth paying attention to how our characters unfold.